Capital Area Central Texas UNIX Society
CACTUS Newsletter

Volume 17, Number 1 - January 2001


Editor's Note

by Lindsay Haisley

Well we've seen a year of change in the CACTUS newsletter, although not as much so as during 1999 during which we discontinued the "dead tree" version in favor of an online version distributed by email. One of my concerns with this change has been the question of providing something of value to our sponsors. Even in the Age of the Internet, there's a value in getting one's name about in printed media, and with the demise of the paper edition of the newsletter, I wanted to make sure we made up for this loss in some way. With a view to this goal, I started up the "Sponsor of the Month" column in the newsletter which appeared in 10 of the 11 editions of last year's newsletter. These columns have been based on interviews with company principals, where possible, and tried to provide a unique perspective on how each company works and how they view developments in Unix and the online community, and where they see the future taking them and the technology with which we're all involved. It's my hope that the next newsletter editor will continue this focus.

I'd like to thank all the CACTUS officers for their contributions to the newsletter, especially Mike Rice who has (usually) contributed a "Letter From the President" with comments on everything from the state of CACTUS to the flavors of pizza at meetings. Ron Roberts, our scribe, has also been consistent in providing meeting notes laced with good cheer and good vibes (and preformatted in HTML).

Some of you may have noticed that there was no December newsletter. I had one fully prepared, and in early December, one of our neighbor's cats got into my office and came for our parrot, Sophie, who jumped off of her stand and onto my desk, running across it toward the safety of my shoulder. In the process, she ran over my keyboard, stepping on the r and m keys. I put my hand out to pick her up, and in my hurry banged the space bar a few times. About that time the cat hit the desktop with both front feet on the keyboard, simultaneously pressing the 8 key and the shift key, at which point I stood up rather quickly to protect the poor bird, who was terrified, and dropped my glasses, which landed with a bang on the Enter key. Before I could recompose the newsletter I was kidnapped by elves and taken away to work for slave wages in a toy maker's sweatshop at the North Pole and didn't get back home until after the 1st of the month. Oh well....    At least I have an excuse.

November Meeting Report

by Ron Roberts

No program for November, and no word from program chair, Ray Schafer. Plenty of pizza, soda, and business. President Michael Rice, of Immortal Komat fame, opened the meeting with a presidential message: "The pizza's here!"

The Network Appliance box was moved from Mike's trunk into his machine room at home, and back into his trunk. We then discussed the disposition of the old Sparc 2. We may yet perform a forensic security post-mortem on it. Goodwill has a museum. Michael asked for volunteers to help mentor the Austin Community College (ACC) System Administration Guild (SAGE) group that is now forming.

Membership chair, and PO Box key holder, Luis Basto announced that he had paid the lease on our post office box so we won't be homeless this year. He also distributed the junk mail to various members. Some clueless credit card company is offering our scribe a $100,000 credit line on behalf of the Capital Area University TUS.

When the discussion turned to CACTUS history, which Lindsay is trying to get Luis to write, someone mentioned the O'Reilly book sales and Tom Painter. Treasurer Johnny Long mentioned that he had last heard from Tom asking for reimbursement of $300 that CACTUS owed him from the last book sale. When Johnny asked for receipts, Tom demurred, probably because they're long since history. Motion was immediately made and passed by the officers and general members to send Tom a check for $300. We're hoping that he might spearhead another book sale.

Concerning sponsors, Lindsay and several other members suggested that UT ARL deserves to be moved from "Friends of CACTUS" to "Significant Contributing Sponsors" because they provide our meeting location. Webmaster at large, MH Khan will make it so on the WEB.

MH suggested that we try again to rekindle the notion of a technical library. Perhaps choose a public library and donate CACTUS's library to it. No one is sure who has the current library. Several members had ideas for donations of CDROM collections and older hard copy. Gil immediately offered several copies of surplus Cisco documentation, which he distributed. Finally, MH mentioned an open meeting that CACTUS and CTLUG members have been invited to attend.

We reminded everybody that the December 21st meeting date for CACTUS is cancelled. Next meeting is January 18th--officer elections. We cajoled and threatened each other to try to get nominees. Before dispersing to the winds, we even got a [tentative] volunteer for a January presentation: the HP [Dazel] Output Manager.

January Meeting Program - The HP Document Router

A Dazel representative will discuss the HP Document Router, which is being officially introduced on January 23. The Document Router combines hardware and software for outbound fax, e-mail distribution, local/remote print serving and Intranet publishing into a single, multi-function, plug-n-play server appliance. Like Dazel's enterprise software solution, the Output Server, the Document Router helps companies eliminate business-process delays by reliably delivering documents to various destinations.

For more information on the presentor, see

CACTUS System News

by Lindsay Haisley

JumpNet, one of our Significant Contributing Sponsors, hosting our Sparc 10, announced on January 11 that it has been acquired by Allegiance Telecom, Inc. of Dallas.

"We look forward to expanding Jump.Net with Allegiance's extensive resources and capabilities," said Kenneth Smith, co-founder of Jump.Net who becomes an Allegiance Telecom vice president. "This relationship has tremendous positive implications and mutual benefits for the growth and product diversity of both companies."

Based in Dallas, Allegiance Telecom ( is a facilities-based competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) that offers businesses a complete package of telecommunications services, including local, long distance, international calling, high-speed data transmission and Internet services. Allegiance is currently operational in 27 U.S. markets -- including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Worth, Houston, Long Island, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Northern New Jersey, Oakland, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa and Washington D.C. -- and is targeting a total of 36 major metropolitan areas (including Austin) with its "one-stop shopping" approach. Allegiance's common stock is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol ALGX.

For more information on this merger, see

Jack McKinney, our resident Security Specialist notes that SSL services are now available for POP3 and IMAP users. They are running on the standard SSL ports for these services. The certificate is a self-signed locally generated one (beware MITM attacks!). If you want a copy of the certificate to verify it on your end, it is in

If you are a paid-up CACTUS member you should already have an account on both and If you find that you don't please contact our membership chairman, Luis Basto at membership [at] cactus <dot> org and bring the matter to his attention.

If you need any utilities or services on either the Linux box or the SPARC 10 which are not already installed, please contact the system administrators at admin [at] cactus <dot> org and one of them will be glad to install the requested software for you. For utilities which might be of use to more than one member, this is much better than having everyone compile their own local versions - for obvious reasons.


By Luis Basto

A rush of year end renewals helped to brighten up the CACTUS spirit as well as the treasury. We wish to thank David Huang, M.H. Khan, Darrel Long, David Wieboldt, Michael Shaw, Michael Rice, Vijay Joglekar, and Thomas Bodine, for renewing their membership.

This is somewhat new and unique to CACTUS. Jump.Net is one of the two ISPs graciously offering co-location services for the CACTUS machines. We get a monthly bill from Jump.Net. They initially deposited some virtual(?) dollars into our account and deduct a monthly charge. Our current balance is ($489.19), which will last us till January 2001.

To renew your membership, please send check or money order payable to CACTUS ($25/yr for regular membership and $96/yr for corporate sponsorship):

You can also pay in person at the general meetings. Please direct any inquiries or address changes to membership [at] cactus <dot> org.


CACTUS Officers

Contact Information

CACTUS Sponsors

Significant Contributing Sponsors

Applied Research Laboratories/University of Texas at Austin,
(Gil Kloepfer, Computer Science Division (CSD), 835-3771 gil [at] arlut <dot> utexas <dot> edu)
Jump.Net -
(R.W. Rushing, rw [at] jump <dot> net)
Internet service provider.
Aperian / OuterNet -
        Internet service provider.

CACTUS Sponsor Members

Auspex Systems -
(Paul Levine, plevine [at] auspex <dot> com
Fastest reliable network fileservers.
Flametree Corporation -
(David Maynard, 670-4090, dpm [at] flametree <dot> com)
Internet and software consulting.
Covad / Laserlink -
        (Chip Rosenthal 428-9443)

Multi Media Arts (MMA)

(Lee Williams, 451-7191)
Publisher of instructional materials for classroom and independent study.


Friends of CACTUS

Applied Formal Methods, Inc.
(Susan Gerhart, 794-9732, gerhart [at] cactus <dot> org)

Austin Code Works
(Scott Guthery, 258-0785, info [at] acw <dot> com)
(Maurine Mecer, 502-0190 [FAX 502-0287])
Professional recruiting.
EDP Contract Services
(Mark Grabenhorst, 346-1040) Professional recruiting.
Hewlett Packard -
(Bill Sumrall, 338-7221)
Hounix -
(Marilyn Harper)

        Houston's Unix Users Group.
O'Keefe Search -
(John O'Keefe, 1-888-446-2137, john [at] okeefesearch <dot> com)
Professional recruiting.

Sailaway System Design
(Chris J Johnson, 447-5243)

Schlumberger -
(Kathy O'Brien, obrien [at] asc <dot> slb <dot> com)

        Technical services and products in over 100 countries.

Silicon Graphics -

(Don Williams, 346-9342)

Solid Systems
(Pete Farrell, 442-2222)

Sprint Paranet -
(Ron Roberts, 895-2566)

        Consultants in Integrating Hardware, Software, Networks and People.

Sterling Information Group

(Darrell Hanshaw, 344-1005, dhanshaw [at] sterinfo <dot> com)

Sun Microsystems -
(Rick Taylor)

        Supplier of Unix client-server computing solutions.

Tandem Computers -

(Ron Boerger, 244-8000)

        Provider of scalable, high availability systems.

Texas Internet Consulting -

(Smoot Carl-Mitchell, 451-6176, smoot [at] tic <dot> com)

        TCP/IP networking, Unix, and open systems standards.


A Sun Authorized Training Center and a Hardware Reseller.

Unison Software
(Shelley St. John, 478-0611)

        Supplier of networked systems management solutions.

UT Computer Science Department

(Patti Spencer)

UT Computation Center
(Mike Cerda, 471-3241, cerda [at] uts <dot> cc <dot> utexas <dot> edu)

Verio -
(Bob Izenberg, bei [at] verio <dot> net)

        DSL, Network and Hosting Services.

CACTUS Meeting Location: Applied Research Labs

CACTUS meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Applied Research Labs (ARL) in the JJ Jake Pickle Research Campus (JJ PRC). We'll meet in the main auditorium located directly behind the guard's desk and main lobby.

Please do not show up earlier than 6:20 pm on the specified day. Enter through the main entrance at 10000 Burnet Road for ARL:UT. Tell the guard that you are here for the CACTUS meeting. You will be required to sign a log book, but not required to wear a badge. The guards will direct you to the auditorium entrance. Limited parking in the front of the building is available, but more extensive parking is available in the large parking lot just north of the ARL building. After 6:30 pm, all entrances to JJ PRC, except for the Burnet Road entrance, are closed and locked. You can still enter the parking lot in front of the ARL building. No parking tags are necessary after 6:00 pm. See map for further details.

Online maps are available at:

As always, please leave the facility as you saw it when you arrived. So let's clean up all pizza and soda items before we leave. Thanks and hope to see all of you there.

Map to the Monthly CACTUS Meeting

                                                  | |     ^
        <---- to MOPAC                            | |     |
                                                  | |     | North
                                                  | |     | to Braker Lane
                                   ---------------+ |
                                   -+ /-----------+ |
                                    | |           | |
                                    | +--------+  | |
                                    |  Parking |  | |
                                    |    Lot   |  | |
                                    +----------+  | |
                                                  | |
                           +------------+         | |
                           |            | +-------+ |
                           |            | |   +---+ |
                           |            | |   |   | | Rutland
                           |    ARL     | |   |   | +---------
                           |            | |   |   | +---------
                           |            | |   +---+ |
                           |            | +---+---+ |
                           +------------+         | |  |
                                                  | |  | South
                                                  | |  | to US 183
                                                  | |  v